January 21, 2017

Can someone explain to me why Chuck Schumer spoke at the Trump inauguration?

I've searched many articles and can't find an answer. If you leave out the religious speakers — doing invocations and benedictions — and the Supreme Court Justices administering the oaths, you only get — other than Trump himself — Inaugural Committee chair, Roy Blunt, who gave the opening remarks, and Schumer. Why Schumer?

Schumer's remarks were widely perceived as antagonistic to Trump. Why was Schumer allowed to step on Trump's big day? I don't think he was entitled to speak. I don't think there's a tradition of letting the other party insert a dissenting voice. So why did that happen?

Was it Trump's idea — perhaps some deal-making guile involving flattery and extracting buy-in? I noticed Trump being cozily friendly with Schumer at the Congressional Luncheon and the signing ceremony. Is this a campaign to co-opt Schumer?

But was the Schumer speech antagonistic to Trump? Here's the full text. I'm reading it. He refers to our "challenging" times and our aptitude for dealing with challenges. He praised democracy (without any suggestion that Trump didn't fully win the election). And he mainly used his time to read a letter from a Civil War soldier that showed fortitude and patriotism. That letter, Chuck Schumer says, gives him "solace, strength," and he hopes it "will give you the same."

I guess what's anti-Trump is the suggestion that some people are needing solace and strength to get through the Trump administration and the hyperbole of likening our post-election divisions to the calamitous breakdown that was the Civil War. It's not that big a deal.

I'm just wondering why Schumer was speaking at all.

ADDED: I just happened to turn on CNN and hear:
Maggie Haberman (of the NYT): "Schumer's speech... was not exactly sort of a come-together we're-all-in-this-together. It was essentially a party doctrine."

Dan Balz: "It was a pre-buttal."

Haberman: "Exactly. And it was much more so than we have heard in a while. I understand what Schumer is doing. But if you are Trump, you hear that and then you say, you're only yelling at me about why we're not doing things together."
Fake news!

What Schumer actually said is being forgotten and replaced by a fake story that Schumer went completely partisan and divisive. 

110 comments:

PB said...

Schumer's comments should be widely perceived as critical of Obama and the liberal agenda. AFter 8 years of Democrat rule, bordering on dictatorship, the country is in such poor condition?

HeideC said...

Good question! I was wondering the same thing. Maybe he made a good deal.

rhhardin said...

There are too many symbols in the symbolism, all brought on by MSM coverage.

There must always be something to watch and it's always to be taken as serious.

Leave it as that Schumer fills a much needed gap.

tcrosse said...

They say that the most dangerous place to be in DC is between Schumer and a TV camera.

rhhardin said...

We need a better ceremony.

The whole thing is out of control.

Something involving the chief justice, a ring and a dick could replace it all.

MayBee said...

I heard that he was just supposed to introduce the next speaker, but I don't know that to be true.

harryo said...

"As one of the leaders of the Rules committee, Schumer served as a ranking member of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, the Post reported. Since Schumer has taken on that role, that meant he would also serve as a master of ceremony for the inauguration. The same goes for Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Missouri), who is the outgoing chairman of the Rules committee and chair of the congressional inaugural committee. Blunt's speech proceeded that of Schumer, the new Senate minority leader, on Friday afternoon."

So there...

Phil 3:14 said...

Because Meryl Streep declined?

rhhardin said...

A stack of bibles would have been nice, in a hat tip to American cliches.

Bob Boyd said...

Schumer wanted us all to hear this part:

"I know how strongly American civilization now leans upon the triumph of the government...and I am willing, perfectly willing, to lay down all my joys in this life to help maintain this government."

chickelit said...

War letters -- especially from soldiers later killed later on -- are always fascinating. Kudos to Schumer. And yes, his appearance at the inauguration is probably part of a deal.

BTW, is it too soon to name Trump's new deal for America? Fair Deal, Real Deal, Raw Deal?

Original Mike said...

"I noticed Trump being cozily friendly with Schumer at the Congressional Luncheon and the signing ceremony. Is this a campaign to co-opt Schumer?"

Doesn't hurt. I don't think he's going to get Schumer, but all he needs is Schumer's acquiescence to other Dems voting for his bills. Why antagonize him? This is something Obama either never understood or couldn't bring himself to do.

Seeing Red said...

No one gets in the way of Schumer and a camera.

Was he tossed a bone?

Uniter?

mockturtle said...

Not just antagonistic to Trump but overtly encouraging revolt. Even unto death. Weird. Really weird.

The Cracker Emcee said...

I'm guessing Trump has some kind of Third Way game theory that's going to involve using pliant Donks against GOPe obstructionism. He has Schumer pegged as someone who can be manipulated.

rhhardin said...

Something to represent the national vagina would be good.

I'm still developing the idea though.

Whatever it is, news anchors could remind us of its meaning at the right moment.

George Grady said...

BTW, is it too soon to name Trump's new deal for America? Fair Deal, Real Deal, Raw Deal?

How about Big Deal?

rhhardin said...

My inaugural ceremony improvement is channeling Lautreamont. You can't beat this for solemnity. Lautreamont describes a funeral but could be used with obvious substitutions:

The priest of religions heads the procession, holding in one hand a white flag, the sign of peace, and in the other a golden device depicting the male and female privy parts, as if to indicate that these carnal members are most of the time, all metaphor apart, very dangerous tools in the hands of those employing them, when manipulated blindly to different and conflicting ends, instead of engendering a timely reaction against that well-known passion which causes nearly all our ills. To the small of his back is attached (artificially, of course) a horse's tail, thick and flowing, which sweeps dust off the ground. It means, beware of debasing ourselves by our behaviour to the level of animals. The coffin knows the way and moves behind the billowing vestment of the comforter. The relatives and friends of the deceased, demonstrating their position, have decided to bring up the rear of the procession. The latter advances majestically like a vessel that cleaves the open sea, and does not fear the phenomenon of sinking; for at this moment tempests and reefs are conspicuous only by their understandable absence.

AprilApple said...

ot: Trump returns the bust of Churchill to the White House, than man who helped defeat Hitler and leftwing Nazi Germany, and the MSM on-air talent faux-journalists on the alphabet channels are whining about Trump as a dark scary Nazi.

Hard to fathom why nobody trusts the hack alphabet press anymore.


David Begley said...

Excellent question by Althouse! I guessed that Blount got pressured by Schumer. And a last minute deal. He wasn't listed on the program. Ostensibly he was to introduce CJ Roberts.

I can see the deal. "Chuck: Roy, my good friend. I'm from NY. Be bipartisan. Let me introduce Roberts. I'll be brief and neutral. Roy: Sure! I know your record of bipartisanship, my good friend."

And what a terrible and inappropriate speech! Petty. Reports that he was boo'd by the crowd.

Next mystery. Who was the young woman who held the Bible when Mattis was sworn in by Pence?

Bob Boyd said...

Schumer spoke at the Inauguration for the same reason Sir Edmund Hillary climbed Mt. Everest.

F said...

Playing to the man's ego, which is an easy play with Schumer. It might be worth a vote or two. I hope.

Bruce Gee said...

I read somewhere a few weeks ago that Trump was one of the first people to donate to Schumer’s campaign for Congress back in the day. So they’ve been friends for a long time. I think that Trump has probably seen Schumer begin to march to that different drummer once he gained power and influence (at a cost perhaps to many of his principles) on Capital Hill. Of course, Trump himself clearly is marching to a different drummer since bursting the New York City bubble.

I’m hopeful that there will be a Ron Reagan/Tip O’Neal relationship: antagonists on policy but able to work together off the floor, and even remain friends.

David Baker said...

The obvious answer is usually the right answer.

And in the process, Trump is schmoozing virtually everyone. Even the likes of Nancy My-Ass-Is-Stapled-Shut Pelosi, who was downright giddy at yesterday's signing ceremony.

Fen said...

Why bother with WaPo, the NYTs or CNN to begin with?

If you want fiction, flip on Game of Thrones. They even have nudity.

traditionalguy said...

New Trump Trucker's hat slogan: Why are you lying, CNN.

But that may be Nancy Sinatra trade marked.

Derek Kite said...

The best way to keep Schumer on a leash is let him carry all the craziness on the left that Obama has unleashed. Let him defend the open antisemitism. Let him defend the policies. He isn't a fool, and he will provide vigorous and effective opposition to the Trump administration, coming from a long relationship. That is the best kind. I think the Left needs to learn how to oppose and not hate. Maybe Schumer can teach them something.

traditionalguy said...

Maybe Schumer is a friend. But he also displayed the utter weakness of the Democrat's failed strategy. Sort of a foil.

YoungHegelian said...

Schumer occupies a once-crowded, but now much more lonely place in the Democratic Party -- that of a strongly pro-Israel senior government official from a deeply Democratic state. He opposed Obama on the Iran deal & he was livid at the "backstabbing" in the UN Security Council a few weeks ago.

He may actually feel some relief at now knowing that, if he can't get the Dems to do right by Israel, at least it won't be a chore to work with the news President & Congress on his pet Mideast issues.

campy said...

How about Big Deal?

Yuge
Deal.

David Begley said...

Bringing up the Civil War and inferring that division of the 1860's is anyway similar to today is partisan hackmanship of the worst sort. Today's "politics frequently consumed by rancor" is way different than a shooting war.

But in a way I love the fact that Schumer and Pelosi are the face of the Dems. They are so pathetic that everything Trump does will look great.

Correction. And Schumer introduced Thomas; not Roberts.

Captain Drano said...

Here's your answer:
http://video.foxnews.com/v/5291697571001/?#sp=show-clips

Rep. Mia Love said he was only there to introduce CJ Roberts, he was NOT on the program.

Michael K said...

Next mystery. Who was the young woman who held the Bible when Mattis was sworn in by Pence?

I was wondering that, too.

I see Schumer being schmoozed by Trump. Probably not a bad idea. This is a guy who has written books on deals.

"How about Big Deal?"

How about "Let's Make a Deal?"

Michael K said...

That letter by the Civil War soldier is famous and was read in the PBS Civil War series.

Ken Burns, I think it was.

Original Mike said...

"Rep. Mia Love said he was only there to introduce CJ Roberts, he was NOT on the program."

Sheesh.

Purvi Rajani said...

I was wondering why too. From what I can tell, it's because he's on the Committee.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/01/20/meet-the-inaugurals-supporting-actors-roy-blunt-and-chuck-schumer/?utm_term=.e0d2f52bca3c

Otto said...

Keep thine enemies close.

Purvi Rajani said...

It was interesting to observe the buddy-buddy relationship between Trump and both Schumer and Pelosi. It seemed like genuine friendship and rapport. They've all been political allies and friends for many years.

Trump is more of a political opportunist than a conservative or Republican. Had the incumbent have been a Republican, I have no doubt he would have run as an Democrat.

The left wing freakout is extra puzzling as Trump has been a big government New York liberal Dem most of his life.

Sarah from VA said...

All the comments about Schumer and cameras are absolutely true. I developed a deep, personal and visceral hatred of Sen. Schumer when I worked as a transcriber for a news service. It seemed like every time we had a light Friday afternoon -- not much work coming in, eyeing what's left and hoping that we might be able to leave a little before five and beat the rush -- Schumer would hold a press conference at 4:30, and we'd be staying until 5:30 to transcribe it. Also, his accent -- which he occasionally exaggerates as though it makes him more authentically a New Yorker -- makes him challenging to transcribe.

It's entirely possible that he's a good senator, but there's nothing he can do now to make me like him. My hatred is now purely personal and not at all political.

roesch/voltaire said...

He spoke because as Trump said, he is a good friend.

exiledonmainstreet said...

The left wing freakout is extra puzzling as Trump has been a big government New York liberal Dem most of his life.

1/21/17, 12:30 PM

Ironically, I think the left wing freakouts have pushed him more to the right. Perhaps I should thank them.

Real American said...

Many Democrats boycotted the inauguration because they're small and petty people who refuse to accept the results of the election for no other reason than they feel entitled to power and yet lost. As such, the majority of people watching are those Americans, mostly Republicans, who fucking hate Chuck Schumer because he's a lying partisan hack and don't want to look at his ugly mug. It doesn't matter what he said. I thought the letter was fine, but the bit about trannies was unnecessary and unduly partisan as if those freaks need to be singled out. He might as well singled out Bronies and Schizophrenics as if there's a difference.

My guess is he was probably allowed to talk because he's the senior Senator from NY (Trump's home state) and/or on the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies and they sure as fuck weren't going to let Pelosi talk.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Blogger rhhardin said...
Something to represent the national vagina would be good."

Hillary was there.

WA-mom said...

On Lou Dobbs, they were howling over Schumer's speech. "Have you ever before heard an inaugural speaker invoke the Civil War?!"

wild chicken said...

Pretty much like what I hear every week from my pastors, who assume we're just all tore up about the "hateful political rhetoric!" not naming any names, of course.

Ambrose said...

I imagine Chuck saw the open mike and the TV camera and just went for it. No one had the heart to stop him.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FullMoon said...

roesch/voltaire said...

He spoke because as Trump said, he is a good friend.


Yep. Schumer was on an episode of Apprentice. Trump introduced him as "My good friend.."

Of course, he said that about every celebrity.
I believe Trump values loyalty, and is also thin skinned. Would like to see him sic the dogs on Pelosi, Schumer, and anyone politician lying and disrespecting the average person. The constant "Trump voters are ignorant racist homophobes" is getting my dander up.

hombre said...

The more Trump encourages the oppos to speak the better. They are the gifts that keep on giving and harden the resolve of Trump supporters.

Jupiter said...

I happened to see Schumer on the big screen in the cafeteria at work, reading this;

"'Sarah, my love for you is deathless. It seems to bind me to you with a mighty cables that nothing but omnipotence can break; and yet my love of country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly on with all these chains to the battlefield.'
"Sullivan Ballou gave his life on the battlefield a week later at the First Battle of Bull Run. It is because Sullivan Ballou and countless others believed in something bigger than themselves and were willing to sacrifice for it that we stand today in the full blessings of liberty in the greatest country on earth."

I thought, "Yeah, Sarah, your husband died so that fat-ass, entitled sow Michelle Obama could spend tens of millions flying her posse around the World. Poor deluded fool. Now why is this worthless shit-head Schumer running his lying mouth at Trump's inauguration?"

Greg Hlatky said...

The Yuuuuge, Luxurious and Classy Deal.

mockturtle said...

Michael K writes: That letter by the Civil War soldier is famous and was read in the PBS Civil War series.

Ken Burns, I think it was.


Yes, of course. But what the hell does it have to do with a Presidential inauguration??

SayAahh said...

Schumer referred to the Civil War because in 1860 a president won with only 40% of the popular vote.
Lincoln.
We know how that turned out.
There are parallels.
One can hope in spite of what Michelle said.

Comanche Voter said...

Well if Trump was going to toss a bone to the Dems and have one of them speak--do you want Schumer or Pelosi? Schumer ranks Pelosi.

TWW said...

Yeah!

Jupiter said...

David Begley said...
"Bringing up the Civil War and inferring that division of the 1860's is anyway similar to today is partisan hackmanship of the worst sort. Today's "politics frequently consumed by rancor" is way different than a shooting war. "

a) "infer" is not synonymous with "imply".
b) In 1861, the United States was just that - a Union of States. Each State had it's own military organization, and most citizens, especially in the South, felt their primary allegiance to be to their State, not to the Union. Which made it fairly easy to start a "shooting war". Other arrangements have since been made. But I suspect there is more hatred between the sides now than there was then.

buwaya said...

The US certainly does seem to be approaching a condition of communal violence. Not quite a "civil war", in the 1861 sense, but very likely a return to 1960s-70s domestic terrorism.

And much more widespread, probably.

Yes I think the modern hate, as a personal motivator, is worse.

Luke Lea said...

Let me take a wild guess. Trump knows he can deal with Schumer on Capital Hill, that really they are both old-fashioned liberal Democrats at heart, and that because the Democratic bench is so empty giving Schumer this national tv audience was a big favor to him, a way (at least in Schumer's mind) to get his face out there before the public for a future presidential run (sort of the way Democratic keynote speeches usually function).

DavidPSummers said...

Partisan ship may not have risen to the level of the civil war, but when you look at what the attitude that those who desagree with you are automatically evil has brought us, you often have to reach back to the period leading up to the civil war for comparison.

mockturtle said...

Luke Lea proposes: giving Schumer this national tv audience was a big favor to him, a way (at least in Schumer's mind) to get his face out there before the public for a future presidential run (sort of the way Democratic keynote speeches usually function).

Yikes! What a horrible thought!

William Chadwick said...

I didn't catch Schumer's speech, but heard about it from a Democrat I know who seems to fall in lockstep with every "liberal" party line. (And by "liberal" I mean of course "tax-happy, coercion-addicted, power-tripping government sniffer and State fellator." When she told me about it, I thought: What the heck was Schumer doing there, speaking? Then she told me she liked the speech, and I thought: Maybe Trump's throwing a bone to the all-out State fellators in the opposition party.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gadfly said...

What Schumer actually said is being forgotten and replaced by a fake story that Schumer went completely partisan and divisive.

Even Althouse has to get into the Fake News mode. The fake news is no different from what used to be called faux news (and I don't mean Fox News). Now, however, with the speed of Twitter, Facebook, et al, some new happening, real or imagined, true or false, always transpires in the mainstream news-gathering world a million times faster and more often than ever before observed.

With an internet full of storytellers and the strange phenomenon known as "re-Tweeting," control is gone. So what is an editor of a mainstream press organization to do?

Lucien said...

I figure that one of the first things Trump should do is some pro-Israel act that he works together with Schumer on to get bi-partisan support while also flipping the bird at Obama. After enough face to face working together, it should be harder for even Chuck Schumer to say that Trump combines the worst attributes of Hitler & Satan.

Zach said...

It's a nice letter, and the theme is joining together after big divisions to do better things tomorrow.

Picking off a persuadable cadre of Senate Democrats would actually be a really canny thing to do at this point. There are only 52 Republicans, which means that any group of three can hold out on you. There are 10 Democrats from states Trump won, who could potentially be persuaded to vote his way. That gives him far more potential winning coalitions.

52 choose 50 = 1,326 ways to get 50 votes from 52 Senators

62 choose 50 = 2,160,153,123,141 ways to get 50 votes from 62 Senators.

This is something Obama never figured out. He started with 60 votes in the Senate, which was a curse. It made him try to do things that required 60 votes but had no chance of any Republican votes.

60 choose 60 = 1 way to get 60 votes from 60 Senators.

So he was a prisoner of his own coalition. He could never take a position that allowed for defections from the left, because he couldn't get any votes on the right.

So everybody in his coalition had to vote for the leftmost viable policy, every time. Goodbye majority!

And then they weakened the filibuster. Goodbye 60 vote requirement! Just in time for Trump!

Moral of the story: you have to have robust coalitions that can lose a couple of votes, or you have no flexibility. And you're best off if you have a coalition that can lose a couple of votes on one side by getting a couple of votes on the other, or else you'll lose big time in the next election.

Ann Althouse said...

@harryo

But I don't see the opposite party c-chair getting a speaking slot at other inaugurations.

That passage explains it after the fact. It doesn't really say why.

Earnest Prole said...

Zack: Exactly. And when Republicans (and even Democrats) approached Obama and offered to make deals, his response was a version of "I don't have to -- I won the election!

Amexpat said...

Whatever Schumer was trying to do he didn't succeed. The reading was flat and the major emphasis on the civil letters was weird.

Kristian Holvoet said...

Why did he speak? Because coming between Shumer and a microphone / camera is the most dangerous place in America. The politicians are to cowardly to intervene and hazardous duty pay wasn't authorized for the service members.

Big Mike said...

At the time I assumed it was the result of a deal cut by the man who wrote The Art of the Deal, but maybe not. Maybe, as has been pointed out upthread, it was just Schumer being Schumer when a camera is pointed in his general direction. Either explanation is plausible.

Chuck said...

Althouse are you going to blog these bizarre off-the-cuff remarks by Trump at CIA-Langley?

Mr. President, you're such a brilliant extemporaneous speaker, we can't take it anymore; we're saying, 'Stop, Mr. President, your brilliance is just too much for us and we can't take any more brilliance!'

I feel like I am overhearing a conversation between Trump and his therapist.

A room at CIA must be filled with smart, politically-savvy and well informed people. All of whom know that every other word of this rant is complete, lying bullshit.

Michael said...

Schumer probably spoke because he and Trump are old acquaintances from New York City and have dealt with each other for decades. Trump figured it couldn't hurt to be gracious, and Schumer was no more partisan than he could humanly help. Maybe they were trying to set an example.

Zach said...

I wonder if Trump will surprise us by being much shrewder than anticipated. He's spent a long time working complicated deals that require buy ins from lots of people; I'll bet you don't have to tell him that working with a 2 vote cushion is setting yourself up to be extorted at the last minute.

It's funny. Obama was supposed to be the big intellectual, but politically he was naive and straightforward: his bills would pass on a party line vote or he would try to enact them by executive order. There wasn't much horse trading or triangulating. Nobody in the White House even had John Boehner's number when the Republicans won the House in 2010! So in his first couple of years he passed a lot of legislation, and for the last six he barely passed anything at all.

Chuck said...

That was bizarre.

That was the weirdest speech I have ever seen given by a President of the United States. It sounded like he was awarding them a prize at a beauty pageant. "You're so beautiful..."

tom said...

Ann, about why Schumer was allowed to talk ... do you have any idea how dangerous it is to get between Chuck Schumer and a camera?

mockturtle said...

Zach at 2:13: Great analysis.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

Trump extended an olive branch. Make American whole again.

Perhaps the response was symbolized by a dove engulfed in flames.

Earnest Prole said...

Zack: I’m left with the impression the former Constitutional law teacher had no idea how our system of checks and balances actually works, and instead believed that a Democratic President is some kind of King who governs by royal decree.

Hagar said...

There is not much need for give and take between the parties in the Illinois Statehouse either, so where should he have learned?

Birkel said...

Preparation-H, Chuck. It helps relieve the butt hurt.

khematite said...

HarryO gave pretty much at the correct answer at 11:47 am, followed by an awful lot of pointless speculation (some humorous, some serious) on other possible answers. The simple fact is that the chair and ranking member of the Senate Rules Committee both speak at the inauguration in their ex officio roles as chair and ranking member of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. In fact, Schumer spoke as chair of that committee in 2013. Lamar Alexander was then the ranking member and also spoke.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mN7KrfRA7JM

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/video/inauguration-2013-sen-lamar-alexander-speaks-presiden-obamas-18273277

I'm not really sure how far back this particular tradition dates, but the Washington Post explains what happened yesterday pretty well.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/01/20/meet-the-inaugurals-supporting-actors-roy-blunt-and-chuck-schumer/

Jupiter said...

SayAahh said...

"One can hope in spite of what Michelle said."

Yes, it is generally pretty safe to disregard anything Michelle Obama says.

Guildofcannonballs said...

42.

Yancey Ward said...

Schumer probably wasn't supposed to give a speech- he was supposed to introduce Justice Thomas, but if you had told me beforehand that Schumer was supposed to do nothing but introduce Thomas, I would have predicted he would give a speech with almost 100% probability- the man can spot a television camera from miles away.

As for the content of the speech, Schumer is trying to be far too clever for his own good- if you are going to invoke the Civil War in a context such as yesterday, you had better make damned fucking sure your point is understood. It is a little too easy to view that speech as a call to arms, so to speak, in order to oppose Trump, and I think Schumer knew that problem before he spoke. Remember, Ballou was justifying the cause of war in order to keep the South from breaking away, so I ask you, what was Schumer's point in referring to this?

Sayyid said...

"What Schumer actually said is being forgotten and replaced by a fake story that Schumer went completely partisan and divisive."

So he got the Ted Cruz treatment. Doesn't matter what your speech said: it wasn't good enough. Because Trump. If Schumer was offered and took the opportunity to speak, then he should have known better. "Fool me once" etc.

Limited blogger said...

Schumer can't take over the Harry Reid role. Nobody is that nasty.

Drago said...

Chuck: "That was bizarre.
That was the weirdest speech I have ever seen given by a President of the United States. It sounded like he was awarding them a prize at a beauty pageant. "You're so beautiful..."

You are completely ignorant as to what these people think. I'll guarantee you the rank and file voted Trump in similar numbers to the military.

This is the CIA. They know precisely what Trump was doing in front of the cameras and the American people as these folks are experts at battlespace prep. Something you know nothing, nothing, about.

You think so highly of your own intellect that you are missing the forest for the trees even as it unfolds right in front of you.

You, like the left, STILL have not adapted to the reality around you even after you've been hit with the trout right across your nose about a half dozen times.

And it's why you are left sputtering and coming off as a befuddled Lefty.

David said...

There was a microphone. Schumer was near it. It's quite simple.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

harryo has got it right, and for the same reason Lamar Alexander spoke at the last inauguration. In other words, Schumer was one of the two hosts for the inauguration ceremony at the capitol.

mockturtle said...

Short answer: Because no one could stop him.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

Guildofcannonballs:

I thought you may be a fellow hitchhiker.

Can someone explain to me why Chuck Schumer spoke at the Trump inauguration?

Profound.

Bruce Hayden said...

Picking off a persuadable cadre of Senate Democrats would actually be a really canny thing to do at this point. There are only 52 Republicans, which means that any group of three can hold out on you. There are 10 Democrats from states Trump won, who could potentially be persuaded to vote his way. That gives him far more potential winning coalitions.

Not sure how "head clown" Schumer fits in there. We watched Dingy Harry Reid move from a reasonably conservative Dem to a frothing liberal, in order to keep the majority (and minority) leader slot. The formerly conservative southern Dem seats are mostly now Republican, which leaves a fairly left wing caucus. Schumer has waited long enough for the top slot that he isn't going to give it up by working with the Republicans, if he can help it, unless, maybe, it concerns Israel.

Ann Althouse said...

"Althouse are you going to blog these bizarre off-the-cuff remarks by Trump at CIA-Langley? Mr. President, you're such a brilliant extemporaneous speaker, we can't take it anymore; we're saying, 'Stop, Mr. President, your brilliance is just too much for us and we can't take any more brilliance!'"

It's obviously humor.

Self-deprecating actually.

Try the audio version if you want to get it and are having trouble picking up the spirit.

The CIA people were laughing a lot.

David said...

Even Fox News was all in a lather over this Trump's Langley remarks tonight.

GRW3 said...

The 150th anniversary of every event of the Civil War passed during the Obama years. Shumer's speech was the first instance, that I can recall, of the Civil War being mentioned in that time - in the last few minutes. I guess the acknowledgment of 6-700,000 mostly white men making the sacrifice to end or paying the price for slavery just didn't fit the narrative.

Gretchen said...

I think the media is making a concerted effort to be divisive. They did the same with Trump's speech. They are disgusting, and are turning a lot of people away, while making lukewarm Trump supporters stand firmly in his camp.

Chuck said...

...Obviously humor.. ?!?!?

Althouse, I watched it live. There was some laughter, that I couldn't really understand, and there was a lot more nervous laughter like are we really watching this?

Here is the complete transcript, per Politico:

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/full-text-trump-pence-remarks-cia-headquarters-233978

I reads like a Bill Murray lounge-act character. You cannot be serious, Althosue. You're trolling me. Please tell me you're trolling me. Because I have too much respect and admiration for you, to believe that you sat and watched it as if it were anything other than some of the most embarrassing psychotic free-association we've ever seen associated with a President who was not a movie character.

Chuck said...

Oh, and Althouse:

Donald Trump takes a page right out of the Minister Louis Farrakhan playbook:

First, the Wall Street Journal reviewed the crowd-counting controversy that led Farrakhan's Nation of Islam to threaten litigation against the National Park Service, for its crowd estimate of 400,000 in the face of NOI claims of a million and a half, or "millions" in attendance.

Digital analysis an aerial photography proved that Farrakhan and NOI were hysterically wrong. Surprise, surprise.

But now we have Trump! Trump, claiming that his crowd was a million and a half, just like Farrakhan:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/21/us/politics/trump-white-house-briefing-inauguration-crowd-size.html?_r=0

I know you've done a good job of nibbling away at the edges of NYT bias and excesses in their reporting on Trump. I've actually congratulated on many of those. But face it, Althouse: there is nothing that has ever been published in the Times about Trump, that compares to the daily stream of whoppers from Trump. You've been amazingly selective, in your outrage.

Chuck said...

Oh, and for good measure on Crowdgate, Jonathan Last at The Weekly Standard eviscerates Sean Spicer (as well as his boss) on this boldly laughable bullshit:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/trumpism-corrupts-spicer-edition/article/2006432


...Rule #1 for press relations is that you can obfuscate, you can misrepresent, you can shade the truth to a ridiculous degree, or play dumb and pretend not to know things you absolutely do know. But you can't peddle affirmative, provable falsehoods. And it's not because there's some code of honor among press secretaries, but because once you're a proven liar in public, you can't adequately serve your principal. Every principal needs a spokesman who has the ability, in a crunch, to tell the press something important and know that they'll be believed 100 percent, without reservation.

But like I said, this isn't about Spicer.

What's worrisome is that Spicer wouldn't have blown his credibility with the national press on Day 2 of the administration unless it was vitally important to Trump.

And if media reports about crowd size are so important to Trump that he'd push Spicer out there to lie for him, then it means that all the tinpot-dictator, authoritarian, characterological tics that people worried about during the campaign are still very much active.

You know who obsessed about crowd size? Fidel Castro. You know who did not? George Washington, John Adams, Andrew Jackson, FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Reagan, Clinton, and every other man to ever serve as president of these United States of America.

If you want to support the Trump agenda, that's fine. Worth doing, even. But never lose sight of the degree to which Trumpism corrupts.


The other bullshit-rich layer in this shitcake is the fact that Spicer was sent out to do Trumpism in the same way that Trump does it; a ham-handed attack on the media. Fuck that! Show me a reputable media report where a reporter is making up numbers. Nobody does that. The reporters were all reporting what DC officials were telling them. Now if you want to attack that news in a semi-thoughtful way, what you do is go after those sources and say something like "Every fricking bureaucrat in the DC government is a card-carrying Democrat and they all have been, for eight generations." If it was a plausible claim at all, that is how you do it. I don't think it is a plausible claim, and the more specific that Trump/Spicer get on this, the closer they get to a libel action. We can open up those laws! Trump isn't even coming close to sensibility on this one. They may end up with a press room that has nobody but Fox News and Breitbart in it.

chickelit said...

Who the hell are you Chuck, to think you have so much power and sway?

You are detestable, Chuck. You and your phony law practice...all the while spending days and nights in blogger comments. Why don't you go pretend to depose someone and bill a client for it?

MayBee said...

The media that wanted to downplay every Obama lie and scandal wants to up-play every Trump lie and absurdity.

If the media outlets would at least do a little retrospective about how they let Obama off the hook too much, I could listen to them. But right now, I just can't. I admittedly hear what they want me to get upset about and reflexively do the opposite.

Captain Drano said...

Chuck, I can appreciate your take on this, (and J. Last's) the but I have a different one I would like you to please consider.

I think Trump sees the media misrepresentation of crowd size not so much as a personal insult, but as a straight-up diss against the hundreds of thousands of regular persons that made their way to DC from every town in America, and many from across the globe, for an historic day in America that marks the end of a long hateful, bullying, corrupt, pseudo-communist, hell-bent on dividing and destroying our morale, elite-run period in our Nation to one that values and understands the regular person, our founding values, and our Constitutional Republic. It is this deliberate and haughty dismissal by the MSM of the efforts, joy, and optimism of that regular person that pissed Trump off, and led to the much needed and wanted tone and correction that Spicer had the task of delivering.

Regarding this line: Every principal needs a spokesman who has the ability, in a crunch, to tell the press something important and know that they'll be believed 100 percent, without reservation.

WTF? Are you, and Last, serious? Do you really hold for one second that anything—anything—the Trump Admin has to say regardless of the level of “importance” will be “believed” by anyone in the old guard press? That it won’t be collectively spun so hard that it reaches—I am at a loss for the right word here—does “singularity” fit? The fact-checking is fine, in fact their duty, but the one-way spin that has been incessantly thrust upon the nation has reached its apex, and is going to tumble—fast.

I want to say more and flesh this out a bit, but can’t. I will leave you this; I think that an additional major motivator, quite possibly the main one, for Spicer’s speech—whether “ordered” or not---is the upcoming March for Life. Year in and year out, close to a million largely young people’s heartfelt protest against a culture of wanton disregard for life at the fringes has been all but ignored, and when not ignored, mocked, belittled, and collectively and intentionally pushed under the radar. As I asserted above, President Trump is setting the stage for the rightful respect and accurate reporting (and in the March for Life’s case, to even actually report it) of the common person’s actions and voice on an issue that is of vital importance to them.

To summarize, President Trump’s actions are not so much motivated by a need to feed his ego, but by righteous anger at the utter dismissal of over half of America’s voices, and at the bullshit spin the other half laps up as gluten-free truth.

mockturtle said...

Captain Drano can help drain the swamp, I think! :-)

James Graham said...

They have p***v hats. In the post-WWII US Army some people called these by a more vulgar four-letter term.


http://thumbs.picclick.com/00/s/NDgwWDY0MA==/z/61QAAOSwubRXG90e/$/post-WWII-US-Army-Officers-Khaki-Color-Garrison-Cap-_1.jpg

Captain Drano said...

mockturtle said...
Captain Drano can help drain the swamp, I think! :-)

Thanks, I am trying to my part. I am nothing but a humble plumber that has seen too much filth clogging our Republic.

Craig Howard said...

But in a way I love the fact that Schumer and Pelosi are the face of the Dems. They are so pathetic that everything Trump does will look great.


Yeah, like "Make America sick again."

madAsHell said...

According to six sources familiar with the negotiations over Pompeo’s confirmation, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told Republican leaders that he would allow Pompeo to be confirmed by voice vote on Inauguration Day, along with two other Trump nominees who have national security responsibilities. But Schumer broke his promise, these sources say, and offered an insulting excuse for having done so.

This might have something to do with it.

Johnny Sokko said...

Ann - Why was Chuck Schumer up there on Friday? Well he is on the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. From the article below:

Two prominent figures on display will be Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.). That’s because Blunt and Schumer are the outgoing chairman and ranking Democrat on the Senate Rules Committee, which is week in and week out one of the sleepiest panels in all of Congress.

Except in the months leading up to an inauguration, when the Rules committee’s leaders serve as chair and ranking member of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. That’s separate from the Presidential Inaugural Committee, which oversees the official events that are not on the Capitol grounds, such as the parade and formal balls later that evening.

This means that Blunt and Schumer will effectively be the masters of ceremony for the swearing-in that starts in the late morning and at the gala luncheon held afterward in Statuary Hall.



https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/01/20/meet-the-inaugurals-supporting-actors-roy-blunt-and-chuck-schumer/?utm_term=.2fbde14be63c